How To Convert Work Laptop To Personal? Top 9 Ways Explained

Every work laptop usually has some security feature set up to ensure the organization’s data stays safe. However, these security features sometimes put certain restrictions, making it difficult use the laptop for personal work or install third-party applications. Some even restricts access to unrecognized USB devices or drives.

Using a work laptop, as it is, for personal work can jeopardize your personal data security, passwords, and other confidential information. Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to convert a work laptop into a personal computer.

If you’re concerned about security and not sure how to go about it, you have come to the right place. In this article, I’ll give you detailed information on how to convert work laptop to personal in the best possible ways. Let’s get to it!

How To Convert Work Laptop To Personal

Generally, formatting and reinstalling the operating system is the best way to convert a work laptop to a personal one. This will wipe out all the data and system configuration put by your organization. However, this will cut off any possibility to retain older files, programs, or valuable work data that you may have forgotten to back up.

But if you wish to use the laptop for personal use and still do some work stuff if necessary, then here are some other approaches to get the job done:

How To Convert Work Laptop To Personal

[Note: Most of these methods only apply to Windows 8 or higher, especially Windows 10. I would recommend using an updated Windows version for overall better performance.]

1. Encrypt Your Data

Data encryption is essential if you want to convert your work laptop to personal. It helps prevent your data from accidentally being accessed by unauthorized persons.

There are several programs, such as TrueCrypt, that offer data encryption. It zips your data files and requires a password to open.

Here is how to use TrueCrypt to encrypt your personal files:

Encrypt Your Data

  • Step 1: Download True Crypt software. It’s free!
  • Step 2: Install and run the program on your computer.
  • Step 3: Create a storage volume, hidden or standard.
  • Step 4: Select the partition or device for storage.
  • Step 5: Choose volume size, set a password, and volume format.
  • Step 6: Click Done and exit.

Alternatively, you can use Bitlocker for data encryption. I’ll also discuss the method later in this article.

2. Uninstall the Antivirus Software

Most companies install anti-viruses with advanced features on their laptops. Anti-viruses have features that keep data safe and confidential. However, on the downside, they take up more RAM space causing your computer to slow down.

So, it’s recommended to remove such anti-virus software. Here is how to do it:

  • Step 1: Go to the main menu.
  • Step 2: Click on settings and navigate to Apps & Features.
  • Step 3: Select the software you want to uninstall, then click uninstall.
  • Step 4: Restart your computer.

3. Disable the Windows Update

While it is important to have your work computer operating system regularly updated for better performance, you need to disable this feature when using it as personal. Below are steps on how to disable windows updates:

Disable the Windows Update

  • Step 1: Go to the main menu.
  • Step 2: Click on Control Panel and navigate to System and Security.
  • Step 3: Click on Security and Maintenance, then select Stop Maintenance.
  • Step 4: Click Turn off Updates and exit.

4. Create A Separate User Account

Creating a separate user account is perhaps the easiest way. By doing so, you can have two accounts for different purposes in the same computer. So you can use your laptop for both work and personal use at the same time.

When creating a new account, use your personal email address. In this account, you can perform your personal activities and store your personal data as well.

Here is how to create a new user account:

  • Step 1: Click on the windows icon.
  • Step 2: Click on Settings, then account.
  • Step 3: Navigate to Family and Other Users, click Create a User Account for this PC.
  • Step 4: Fill in the required information (username and password).
  • Step 5: Assign Administrative privileges and click Create Account.

5. Use Virtual Machines

A virtual machine is a computer program that functions as an actual computer. It often runs as a separate machine with a different operating system.

A virtual machine provides a platform to run your personal activities without altering the existing operating system. Below are steps on how to enable virtual machines:

  • Step 1: Go to Main Menu; navigate to Window PowerShell (admin).
  • Step 2: Click on System Info, click enter.
  • Step 3: Select Hyper V, click enter.
  • Step 4: Choose Turn Windows Features on or off.
  • Step 5: Click Open. Select A card opens.
  • Step 6: Check Hyper V and click OK
  • Step 7: Restart your computer.

6. Set Up VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an essential program for hiding your identity. When you want to make online payments or browse geo-restricted websites, you’ll need a VPN. It makes your online activities secure from hackers and fraudsters.

Here is a quick guide on how to set up a VPN:

Set Up VPN

  • Step 1: Go to the Main
  • Step 2: Click on settings, then select Network and Internet.
  • Step 3: Click Advanced Settings, navigate to VPN and click Add.
  • Step 4: Enter the required information on the pop-up window (Name, User Name, Password, address).
  • Step 5: Click Save, then exit.

7. Browsing in Incognito Mode

Keeping your privacy is a priority when using your work laptop as personal. Your browser holds lots of private data that need to be protected. Data such as email addresses, passwords, credit card information are vulnerable to hackers and identity theft. The most straightforward and effective approach to private browsing is going incognito. Here is how to do it:

Browsing in Incognito Mode

  • Step 1: On your browser window, navigate to the menu or click on the three dots on the top right corner.
  • Step 2: Click New Incognito Window.
  • Step 3: A new window will open; use it to browse the internet.

8. Disable Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a built-in windows protection software; it provides real-time protection against viruses. Most companies use this program to block applications from running on a particular computer. To personalize your work computer, disable windows defender. This is how to do it:

Disable Windows Defender

  • Step 1: Go to the Main.
  • Step 2: Click on Window Setting. Navigate to Update and Security.
  • Step 3: Click on Window Security and select Virus & Threat Protection.
  • Step 4: Click on Manage Setting and uncheck Real-time Protection.
  • Step 5: Click OK and exit.

9. Use Bit Locker to Securely Store Data

To reduce the risk of access to unauthorized data on stolen or lost laptops, use Bit Locker to store user and system files in the system drive securely. BitLocker can check boot configuration data, boot components, encrypt files, swap files, etc. Below is how to set it up:

  • Step 1: Go to the Main
  • Step 2: Click on Control Panel and select Bit Locker Drive Encryption.
  • Step 3: Choose Operating System drive; click Turn on Bit Locker.
  • Step 4: Save to your Microsoft Account and click Next.
  • Step 5: Select encrypt used disk space, then click Next.
  • Step 6: Choose New encryption mode and click Next.
  • Step 7: Run Bit-Locker System Check.
  • Step 8: Restart your computer.

 

Should You Use Your Work Laptop For Personal Use?

Many companies provide you a laptop that you can take home, such as a laptop for automotive work, design, data entry, etc. They also provide you with the necessary information to do your job comfortably. The challenging question is; should you use your work laptop for personal use?

Using your work laptop for personal use is highly discouraged. However, depending on your company’s regulations, it is wise and safe to use it for work-related activities. So, before putting your personal data in it, check your organization policy.

Keep in mind that most companies continuously monitor the usage of their machines. However, if you have no other option and really have to use it for personal use, observe safe practices as outlined above.

Conclusion

All said and done, the company’s property should be respected since they hold confidential information. Your company trusts you enough to let you use your work laptop out of the office; it is morally and ethically upright to keep personal data off the company’s laptop/computer.

However, sometimes you may have an urgent need to use it for personal work, so you must observe legal and lawful methods to convert work laptop to personal use. You can then choose any approach from the ones discussed in this article to make your work easier and not damage your company’s property.

Ronald Bryan

After completing my graduation in computer engineering, I started a business where I’m selling different types of laptops and their accessories. Besides my business, I love to do research and blogging on computer technology. While operating my business, I saw many of my customers didn’t have adequate knowledge about laptops. Therefore most of them are purchasing the wrong one and don’t get the right output they expected. That motivates me to write on this matter, and Laptopgeeky is the result of that. I created this site to share my knowledge with people who are looking for laptops for specific tasks.

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